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Poster: b_s_d Date: Jul 17, 2009 12:59pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Google Books Downloading Change

Should have added that the "crippled" public domain book is from the U. of Michigan library. The other editions on GB from the NYC public library and other sources appear to have all be placed into "snippet" mode (searchable/no preview). Suspect this has to do with the agreement described here:

From this and the previous example, it appears copies of public domain documents scanned from the UM collection (or other institution with an agreement) will possibly (likely?) not be left available for open reading or downloading in the future - even where copies have been provided to GB from other sources.

GB Help still says: "If the book is in the public domain and therefore out of copyright, you can page through the entire book and even download it and read it offline" (, but this now appears to be out-of-date.

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Poster: Jim Carlile Date: Jul 17, 2009 2:27pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Google Books Downloading Change

UM's PD works can all be obtained at their own website. They do it differently.

Interestingly, the new UM agreement says nothing about allowing PD full-view access to their works via Google Books. That's a little ominous--

But here, Courant says PD full-view downloading is going to be available through UM's library web site, too. That's new.

They've been doing this for awhile: making their own scan copies available via their library server. Apparently, this will continue, along with new downloading abilties.

I first noticed this awhile back, when Google was holding out on full-view PD works from UM, but UM themselves were allowing access.

Why UM won't or doesn't allow GB to full-view their PD scans not sure-- perhaps they do in the basic agreement, still, as does UC.

But remember, the UC agreement does NOT require the downloading ability-- it's view only. So Google's downloading feature is completely discretionary on their part, and can be pulled at any time.

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Poster: b_s_d Date: Jul 18, 2009 12:13pm
Forum: texts Subject: Re: Google Books Downloading Change

Thanks for the additional link - agree UM has been a positive force in access to public domain materials. Focus was intended to be the changes GB is currently implementing (experimenting with?) in order to service their institutional relationships, of which UM just happens to be first.

The problem I raised could even have been a simple mistake on Google's part. The main issue is that a defective (or modified) UM copy was swapped under the ID/permanent URL of a complete version without either basic quality check or disclosure (if intentional). The impact on links in IA, Wikipedia, and other locations can be worse than if the original ID/URL had been disabled because cited source material may no longer be present in the linked file - better to deal with a dead link because then you would at least be aware that something had changed. The joys of a loooooong beta, I suppose.